It was fun to watch the Jets running game rack up over 200 yards yesterday, with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell accounting for 110 yards after contact between them. Ivory broke eight tackles, a season high, on his way to his third 100-yard game of the season. Powell’s 54 yards – 39 of which came on the burst before half time that set up the game-tying field goal – came on just seven carries and were the most yards he’s had in a game since Brian Winters moved into the starting lineup in week five.
The pair have combined for almost 1,500 yards with each of them having a career year. Ivory is likely to fall just short of the 1,000 yard mark (he needs 176 in his last game), but Powell might have a shot at 1,000 yards from scrimmage (he needs 103). Having lost Mike Goodson early in the season and suffered through some run-blocking struggles on the line, Ivory and Powell have established themselves as a solid one-two punch that could be a foundation of the offense next season.
The Browns run defense has been pretty good this season, so managing to rack up so many yards on them is an impressive feat. They did it consistently too, with over 100 yards in each half. While Geno Smith’s scrambling did boost those numbers artificially, they also used their receivers on a couple of gadget plays, with mixed results.
The Jets had some nicely designed plays that got their backs into space, but the bulk of the yardage came from them breaking tackles in the hole to get out to the second level. Ivory in particular showed terrific burst and power all day, with seven runs of at least seven yards (although one of these was called back for a holding penalty).
Other than his long run before half time, Powell did convert a couple of short first downs and also caught four passes, one of which went for a 31-yard gain that was also called back due to a holding penalty down the field. They were both effective when called upon to pass protect too.
Ivory did miss one block in the running game and still only has two pass receptions on the year, but we’ve never doubted his ability to carry the ball effectively and he’s been extremely efficient over the second half of the season in particular.
At fullback, Tommy Bohanon had one bad missed block, but otherwise was mistake free. He was targeted once on an incomplete pass.
Alex Green was used as a decoy again on a couple of wildcat-type plays. He hasn’t carried the ball since week eight.
Next up…the offensive line tries out some different things.